Animal cruelty retrial postponed

Case now set for September, could impact lead paint lawsuit filed by defendants

July 20, 2011|By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun

The July retrial of 19-year-old twins Travers and Tremayne Johnson, whose first animal-cruelty trial ended in a hung jury, has been postponed.

The new city circuit court date — Sept. 16 — could complicate a civil case now scheduled for days later, however.

In January 2009, five months before they are accused of setting fire to a pit bull, the Johnson brothers and three others filed a lawsuit against a Baltimore landlord, claiming that exposure to lead paint has left them unable to work.

They're seeking millions in damages at a civil trial scheduled for Sept. 19.

Attorneys in that case could not be reached Wednesday to discuss whether they too will seek a postponement. They've previously noted in court documents that the "public opinion is particularly strong" in the animal cruelty case, which could make it difficult to assemble a fair jury for the civil case.

Travers Johnson is also scheduled for trial on attempted murder charges next month, while his brother faces separate marijuana charges.

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